Catherine Johannet — the Columbia University grad murdered in Panama last week — was an adventurer, but not a risk-taker, her mother told a church packed with mourners for the 23-year-old Saturday.

“She was an explorer of people, places and ideas,” said Alice Medalia. “Catherine had a knack for being in the moment.”

Scarsdale Congregational Church was filled to overflowing for the memorial for the Edgemont native, whose brutalized body was found on a hiking trail on Bastimentos Island off the coast of northeast Panama on Feb. 5, three days after she went missing from nearby Colon Island.

The world traveler, who had reportedly been on a solo hike, was strangled with her own pink pareo, a wrap-around skirt she used as a swimsuit coverup.

The funeral service featured French and Brazilian music, reflecting Catherine’s fluency in French and Portuguese, and was interpersed with poetry readings, including verse by Emily Dickinson. The poet was a favorite of Catherine, who had studied comparative literature at Columbia before graduating in 2015.

Her father, Chris Johannet, and older sister, Laura Johannet, described Catherine’s love of people and stories and recalled family vacations to Cape Cod and the Austrian Alps. The clan was in the planning stages for a trip to Antarctica, the only continent Catherine had not yet visited.

Her brother, Paul, shared a moment with the congregation from when the family had gone to Panama searching for Catherine. He recalled stepping out onto an observation deck at the Panama Canal: “At that moment, a breeze picked up, and I believe— and hope — that breeze was her.”

Panamanian National Police detained eight people in connection with the slaying following raids in the province where she died, local newspapers reported, but there have been no reports of charges filed.

The FBI joined the investigation on Tuesday, and have uncovered a potential connection to the unsolved deaths of two Dutch women, Lisanne Froon and Kris Kremers, on a different hiking trail in 2014, according to Panama America, a local newspaper.

The paper suggested the probe is looking into the possibility of a serial killer in the area. Johannet’s body was found about 35 miles from where the remains of Kremers and Froon were discovered.

A week before her death, Johannet posted a photo on Instagram in front of a Panamanian beach with the caption, “I found paradise and it’s called Isla Ina.”

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